The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) announce the January to July 2003 schedule of films in The Seventh Art: New Dimensions in Cinema. The innovative film series pairs monthly screenings at SFMOMA with discussions with filmmakers, curators and critics. Held on the second Thursday of each month, The Seventh Art presents films that explore the boundaries of cinema’s formal conventions while addressing the ever-blurring borders between fiction and reality, dreamscape and life.
Thursday, January 9, 6 p.m. (Please note early start time.)
By Matthew Barney, 2002, 182 minutes (screened with an intermission)
Followed by a discussion with Richard Flood, chief curator, Walker Art Center
Barney’s epic Cremaster cycle concludes with this fifth installment. Set in the Chrysler Building and the Guggenheim with characters as varied as giants, chorus girls and an architect (Richard Serra) and his apprentice (Barney), the artist’s complex and violent universe demolishes the limits of architecture and film, sexual impulse and aesthetic expression.
Thursday, February 13, 7 p.m.
By Jacques Tati, 1967, 126 minutes, In English, French and German
Followed by a discussion with Macha Makeieff, film restorer
Set against the architectectonically stunning backdrop of Tativille, an imaginary Paris of the future, this genteel satire about the joys and absurdities of everyday life seems today more prescient than ever. Jacques Tati returns as the bemused-yet-charming Monsieur Hulot in this brilliantly plotless, dialogue-free tribute to the perplexities of modern city living. The Paris of Tati’s invention, a frustrating maze of high-tech architecture and unreliable computerized gadgetry, was an enormous steel and glass set which became known as “Tativille.” In it, Tati’s alter ego Hulot and a cast of invading American tourists dazzle viewers in a performance of comedic choreography as yet unparalleled in cinema. The film has recently been restored by Sophie Tatischett, Jerome Deschamps and Macha Makeieff, under the technical direction of Francois Ede.
Thursday, March 13, 7 p.m.
Hosted by Henry Lowood, Ph.D., curator, History of Science and Technology Collection, Stanford University
A new genre of film, Machinima uses digital animation techniques originally developed for computer games. A filmmaker with a home computer can create feature-length epics that only a few years ago would have required millions of dollars to make using traditional CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) techniques, as seen in movies such as Antz and Toy Story. Additionally, the Machinima director can make a film in real time, rather than animating frame by frame. Machinima productions can be distributed over the Internet with no degradation in quality through a process that splits the movie into component parts that can be rendered in real time on the viewer’s computer.
Reel Sculpture: Film Into Art
In conjunction with SFMOMA’s exhibition Reel Sculpture: Film into Art, on view from April 5 to August 3, 2003, three works by contemporary filmmakers Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Atom Egoyan and Abbas Kiarostami and will be shown in The Seventh Art Film Series.
Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m.
By Atom Egoyan, 1987, 96 minutes
Followed by a discussion with Atom Egoyan, director
This story of mistaken and found identities is set in a nursing home, a condominium and a telephone-sex establishment. Using a collection of video images—television, pornography, home movies and surveillance—the film observes the breakdown and restoration of a dislocated family. Darkly humorous and unpredictable, Family Viewing is a journey into a world of brutality and sentiment.
Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m.
Love Is a Treasure
By Eija-Liisa Ahtila, 2002, 55 minutes
Followed by a discussion with Eija-Liisa Ahtila, director
Ahtila will discuss the relationship between her installation The Present (on view in the SFMOMA galleries) and the film Love Is a Treasure—both works share the same plot.
Love Is a Treasure features five vignettes about five women who have developed psychoses. Through special effects that seamlessly situate impossibilities and hallucinations, each episode encompasses a psyche.
Thursday, June 12, 7 p.m.
By Abbas Kiarostami, 1999, 90 minutes, in Farsi with English subtitles
Remarks by Hamid Naficy, professor of art history and film and media studies, Rice University
In present-day Tehran, Hossain Farazmand, a journalist, goes to cover the arrest of Hossain Sabzian, a young man accused of fraud. Earlier, Sabzian had persuaded the Ahankhah family that he was the well-known film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, then borrowed money from them. Sabzian was arrested. Farazmand attempts to borrow a tape recorder. A documentary filmmaker (Kiarostami as himself) begins a documentary investigation of the case. He interviews the police, the Ahankhahs, and finally Sabzian himself, an unemployed print worker who is eager for Kiarostami to make a film of his suffering. Kiarostami visits the judge and asks permission to film the trial. After the trial, Kiarostami films Sabzian’s meeting with the real Makhmalbaf who takes Sabzian by scooter to visit the Ahankhahs.
Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m.
Copy Shop and other short animations
By Virgil Widrich, 2001
Followed by a discussion with Virgil Widrich, director
Copy Shop features of the story of a man who works in a copy shop and copies himself until he fills the whole world. The film consists of nearly 18,000 photocopied digital frames, which were animated and filmed with a 35mm camera. Copy Shop was nominated for an Oscar in the “Best Short Film—Live Action” category. Also presented will be Widrich’s new animation, Fast Film.
The Seventh Art: New Dimensions in Cinema continues on the second Thursday of every month in SFMOMA’s Phyllis Wattis Theater. Tickets for each film are $15 general admission; $12 SFMOMA and SFFS members, students with ID and seniors. Advance tickets may be purchased at the SFMOMA admissions desk. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.sfmoma.org, www.sffs.org or www.ticketweb.com, or by calling TICKET WEB 800 NUMBER (surcharge may be applied). Seating is limited and advance purchase is encouraged.
The Seventh Art: New Dimensions in Cinema is generously supported by the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. Media sponsor: SFSTATION.COM. Hotel sponsor: Triton Hotel.